Oct. 11, 2008
Siena and Fairfield are no strangers to nail-biting, five-set matches. Saturday's renewal of the rivalry in Loudonville followed the trend of the past four seasons, with one notable exception. This time, the Stags emerged victorious when Kelly Hummel's attack sailed just wide on match point. Fairfield claimed a dramatic 22-25,
25-22, 25-12, 14-25, 15-13 win on UHY Court in the ARC.
Katie Mann led Fairfield with six service aces, the most critical of which came with the fifth set knotted at 13-13. Mann added 11 kills and was a part of four blocks.
The Stags' victory spoiled a superlative effort by Siena star middle hitter Burgandy McCurty. McCurty collected 23 kills and a career-high 20 digs in the first 20-20 effort of her standout career.
Both teams were a bit out of rhythm in the early stages of play. The Saints rallied for a 25-22 win in the first set and gave up an early lead in a 25-22 setback in the second. Play was uncharacteristically sloppy in both sets as both teams struggled with their service and defense.
Fairfield asserted itself after intermission with a decisive 25-12 win, but Siena answered right back with an equally dominant 25-14 win in the fourth set.
The best volleyball of the day was played in the fifth set, as the two teams battled back and forth until the end. The Stags took early 7-4 and 9-6 leads, but the Saints went on a 5-1 run to take their first lead at 12-11. Following a Fairfield timeout, the Stags tied the match on Lauren Hughes' 12th and final kill of the match, but the Saints regained the advantage on a Fairfield attack error. Alex Lopez' kill tied the set at 13-13 and then Mann delivered the tide turning ace and Hummel's tough cross-court attack just missed.
Siena held a statistical advantage on the day, especially with their back row defense. The Saints collected 96 digs, behind McCurty's career effort. Kau'i Robello gave the Saints an added boost when switched to libero prior to the fourth set. Robello had 19 digs to go along with seven kills in the first three sets.
added 10 kills in a losing effort and Hummel chipped in nine and had three blocks.
Alex Lopez led the Stags with 14 kills and 20 digs.
The two teams will play one more regular-season match November 9 at Fairfield. Following today's match, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise if a third contest is once again in store when the MAAC Championships take place here in the ARC November 23-24.